Hi all,
We are giving away our HR toolkit resource this week. It’s yours for the cost of an email. Plus a bumper water edition, weather outlooks, the election, Hawke, and the funniest farming YouTube account getting around.

Andrew Bomm
Almond Board water policy
The Almond Board of Australia has released a significant policy statement calling for a halt on greenfield hort developments below the choke, to mitigate against deliverability risk for their water thirsty growers. There are will be increasing demands from maturing almond crops over the next five years, and the industry is facing problems with future supply and social licence.

This isn’t necessarily about almond prices as the cynical might suggest. Almonds are traded as a global commodity, and the price will reflect global shifts. The industry is concerned about tough government medicine if the problem isn’t addressed. Hopefully, this will provoke a common sense discussion about the need for a price or availability signal from water agencies.
NSW water trade dashboard
Water NSW has entered the 21st century and come up with a good market information platform for NSW irrigators. It’s got price and trade volume history from across the NSW trading zones, and across time periods. It also provides information about current water availability across licence types. Check it out here.
Check It Out Here
Class action wastefulness
Southern Riverina Irrigators have launched an improbable class action against MDBA, with an ambit claim for $750 million for damages suffered by NSW Murray General Security holders. This figure assumes that all Murray delivery losses (not just those above expected levels) are attributed to MDBA negligence, and that irrigators would have cleared $1000/ML for wheat if allocation had been available. Hmmm.

The excessive losses problem is being caused by the current rules governing MDBA management decisions, and it will be hard to attribute much of irrigators’ loss to any obvious breach of the current regulatory arrangements. Unfortunately, the longer the class action goes the more money will end up in the hands of lawyers. Who pays if/when SRI loses?
Hope springs eternal
We’re on the cusp of a good season and all eyes are on the potential offered. The Bureau’s long range forecast isn’t optimistic, but it’s been jumping all over the place the last few months. That brown blob on the map could be anywhere next month.
AV Weather is more optimistic, calling average to above average rainfall for NSW and Victoria.  

How good are pollsters? Not good
Like most people I trusted the polls and was all in on Labor winning the election. Australian political polling has a reliable track record, and we hadn’t yet seen the surprise results that had flummoxed pollsters and betting markets following Trump and Brexit. It wasn’t like the different polls were all over the place either – they all got it consistently wrong, presumably on the basis of using a methodology that was consistently out of line with actual sentiment.

The really interesting thing about this unexpected result is the way it will affect internal party deliberations about leadership and community support throughout future terms of parliament. If politicians aren’t slaves to polls, maybe we will see a little more preparedness to back their convictions, and parties willing to give their leaders more latitude to back their instincts. Or pollsters might just improve their polling techniques. Who knows? I give up!

We have an HR shortcut
HR compliance is generally seen as a pain in the arse for family farming businesses. It’s complex, can change without you knowing, and comes with plenty of paperwork that needs to be hunted. As part of a recent project we’ve developed an easy to use toolkit with the information and templates farmers need for hiring, firing, paying correctly, managing safety compliance, and all the other exciting facets of HR. We agreed to take unders for doing the project to keep access to the resource, so we could make it available to others. So it’s free if you want it electronically, or for a small handling charge for the hard copy, which is a better way to use it. Just let me know if you want one and it’s yours.

UK elections
Unstable times in the UK. Elections are required every five years, and their most recent elections have been 2017 and 2015. Here’s the market for when their next election will be.

2019      $2.63
2020       $4.00
2021       $8.50
2022       $2.63

Progressive Agriculture podcast
What’s missing from Australian agriculture podcasts? Are they covering the wrong issues? Too boring? I need ideas for the best direction to take - totally bereft.

Farmers to founders
This is an interesting concept, based on helping good ideas out of farming businesses turn into commercial enterprises. They’re doing a roadshow - including Wagga - and the dates will be available here.

Check It Out Here

Canadian brilliance
Do yourself a massive favour and check out the YouTube page for Clubroot Acres. It’s the funniest farming related content on the net.

Check It Out Here
Please enjoy this fascinating ACA clip covering Bob Hawke’s 1990 election campaign launch. It’s interesting to see how much less guarded and scripted he was around the media compared with today’s operators.
Watch Here
Follow @progressiveagri on Twitter
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Progressive Agriculture · 13/120 Fitzmaurice Street · Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650 · Australia

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